She can’t really tell between left and right, but three-and-a-half-year-old Niah Sanjith from Kerala can solve different variants of Rubik’s Cube puzzle in two minutes. Give her the 2×2, the 3×3 or the Pyraminx, and she will hand you back perfectly-solved cubes in record time.
She has this almost strange logic to solving them, furiously twirling and rotating the cubes, her eyes fixed on the patterns until she gets uniform colours on all sides. Her mother, Tixy, a former veterinary doctor, hasn’t quite gotten the hang of how her prodigal daughter does it, but she knows Niah has it in her to enter the record books.
“I think it’s some kind of instinct. Because to solve the cube, either you use a particular logic or a specific algorithm. In this case, to use the algorithm, she needs to know left and right. But she doesn’t know that. I think she has her own technique, which she repeats, then recalls and eventually finds a pattern,” Tixy Sanjith told the Indian Express over phone from Alappuzha.
Niah, born in July 2015, first took to card games and board games when kids older to her from neighbouring houses brought them. Eventually, even before she had turned two, she would bring the Rubik’s Cube to her mother asking the latter to teach her to solve it.
“I tried to teach her, but she couldn’t understand left and right. So, she started solving by herself. Before she turned 2, she had managed to solve each side of the cube. Her logic and reasoning skills are certainly ahead of her peers,’ her mother said.
Currently, the three-and-a-half year old can solve the 2×2 and the Pyraminx variants of the Rubik’s Cube in under a minute, and takes an average of 1 minute, 45 seconds to crack the 3×3 version of the cube, which is slightly harder.
On March 3, Niah is all set to participate in a cubing competition organised by the World Cube Association in Thiruvananthapuram where she hopes to put her own stamp on cracking the puzzle. For this endeavour, she has been sponsored by thecubicle.com, a leading online cube store which has not backed any cubers from India so far. The website has promised to fund the little one’s travel, accommodation, puzzles as well as expenses to register for the Guinness World Records, her mother said.
Since the WCA event in Thiruvananthapuram only gauges players in terms of speed of solving puzzles, not age, Niah will be looking to use her performance as official documentation to enter the Guiness World Records as the youngest in the world to solve four different variants of the Rubik’s Cube puzzle. Currently, Ruxin Liu of China at 3 years, 118 days holds the record for the youngest to solve the 3×3 puzzle. But Tixy tells her daughter would hope to enter the books as the youngest to solve four variants of the puzzle at the same time.
Interestingly, Niah still doesn’t have the faintest idea of what’s going on or the glory that’s waiting for her.
“Recently, to prepare for the competition, I bought a timer. So she knows that we are going somewhere. That’s all she knows,” Tixy, said smiling.